Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010 - A Retrospective

   I for one welcome a new year and bid good riddance to one of the worst years I have ever had. Don't get me wrong, there were some wonderful moments for us as a family but for me personally it was not one for the books. Here is a look back at 2010.
   January: 2010 was ushered in with bitter cold temperatures, record snow, and broken water pipes. And that was the good part! Diana got walking pneumonia and I was diagnosed with arthritis in my back. After years of unbearable back pain Diana made me go to the doctor and get it looked at. I hate it when she's right!
   March: We took a weekend trip to Omaha to visit the Winter Quarters Temple visitor center and Pioneer Cemetery. We also took in the Henry Doorly Zoo (which is awesome) and downtown Omaha. Of course it was very cold and snowy most of the time, but we had fun despite mother nature. Around that same time I left my job as a juvenile corrections officer to pursue CDL training. That didn't work out due to some dishonesty on the school's part and I found myself unemployed. Plus, my last night at work we had an emergency and I fell down a flight of metal stairs which got me a free trip to the local ER. On a positive note; Diana had a birthday and turned 37.
   April: We had dealings with the Olathe Police Department when Andrew was shot by a neighbor punk while he was walking in front of their house. He was shot with an air soft gun and it left a pretty nasty welt. I went over to the house yelling for the kid to come outside but he wouldn't. Fortunately, the police showed up about then. One night while we were asleep Diana woke up with terrible pains in her side. They were bad enough that we went to the ER. It was determined that she was having a gall bladder attack and was referred to our doctor for follow-up. The next day our doctor wound up referring her to a surgeon because the x-rays did not look good. Needless to say, the surgeon scheduled her for gall bladder surgery.
   May: May was a pretty good month. Brandon and Emily came down to visit and we took their kids to the Liberty Jail Visitors Center in nearby Liberty, Missouri. It was a great experience and we all learned a lot about Joseph Smith and patience. I highly recommend a visit. Spencer turned 14 and became a Teacher in the ward. I was very pleased to perform the ordination of my son. We did have some excitement with squirrels in the house (literally in the rooms and in the walls). There was a squirrel in Spencer and Jordan's room hiding in the blinds, so I got a pair of heavy leather gloves and captured it. It was not very happy and began to bite and squeal! I ran to the door and tossed it across the yard. To this day we have squirrels in the walls, but we are waging war with them.
   June: Diana and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary on the 1st. I can't believe that we have been married that long. But then again, it seems like we have always been married. I hope that makes sense. We are still very much in love and feel very blessed to have each other. I finally found a new job thanks to a member of our ward. I am a (seasonal) traffic maintenance worker with the City of Olathe and my main duties are maintaining the city street lights. It is fun but it is taking a toll on my body. Diana finally had her gall bladder removal surgery and it was a little scary sitting with her in the recovery room because she didn't want to wake up very easily. She recovered quickly and was back on her feet the next day. She can't sit still!
   July: Independence Day was a wash, literally. About an hour before we were to leave to watch fireworks a huge thunderstorm moved in and it poured for several hours. We didn't get to see the fireworks, but we heard them from our living room (along with the squirrels). Chase had a milestone in July. He caught his first fish! A tiny small mouth bass. It was smaller than his hand.
   August: August was a big month for us. School started and we have been busy ever since. Chase is a third grader, Andrew is a sixth grader, Spencer is a Freshman, and Jordan is a Senior. Spencer also started early morning seminary and really enjoys it. Spencer was elected by the scout troop to join the Order of the Arrow (Scouting's Honor Society) and went through the "ordeal" (outdoor training) with flying colors. Chase and I celebrated our birthdays and Chase (8) was baptized, and became a Cub Scout. Brandon and Emily came down for it and that was special for Chase. He was very excited to have them there. Towards the end of the month Spencer joined the wrestling team at his school, and Andrew became French Horn First Chair (best in section). We like that the boys stay active in the schools.  
   September: Chase had oral surgery to repair several things in his mouth and both Diana and I went with him. I think we were as scared as he was. Nobody likes to see a loved one go under. Chase was a goofy little dude when he was coming out of surgery. He was slurring and laughing, and couldn't remember the names of things. He even noticed that my "girlfriend" was driving the van while I sat in the back with him. It was pretty funny! Andrew turned 12 and became a Deacon. Again, I was very pleased to perform his ordination. He now passes the Sacrament each Sunday. Chase earned his Bobcat badge and is working hard on his Wolf.
   October: My job finally started taking a toll on my body and I have been having a lot of joint pain. I suffer from back, shoulder, elbow, knee, and foot pain. I found out that I have gout in my right foot. I thought I had broken it, but gout hurts a lot worse! It hasn't stopped hurting. Andrew had a milestone this month. He went on his first temple trip to St. Louis with the youth. He had a great time with Spencer. I had a nice little experience with Chase at his school during "Daddy's and Doughnuts" I got to have doughnuts and chocolate milk with Chase before school and we had a good little visit. It made me feel all warm inside.
   November: During the November Court of Honor for the Boy Scouts Andrew was awarded his Star rank and Spencer was awarded his Life rank. Spencer is almost an Eagle Scout. Andrew will be short on his heels. Chase was honored by the school district as a featured artist at the annual Student Art Exhibit at the school district offices. It was a very elegant event and he was so proud of his painting that was on display with his name and grade. Chase is pretty talented and we are pretty proud of him. A few weeks later Chase fell on the playground at school and got a mild concussion. He is doing just fine. Diana and the boys spent Thanksgiving at her parents house while I was at home with my foot elevated. Gout strikes again!
   December: Jordan turned 18 and is a legal adult. What happened to time? It seems like just yesterday he was in Kindergarten. He has grown into a fine young man and we are just as proud of him as we can be. He doesn't spend much time with us anymore because he works alot and goes to visit his father in Wichita when he can. But he still lives with us. He will graduate from high school in a few months. Christmas was a very spiritual time for us. We were greatly blessed because the boys had a great Christmas when we didn't know where it would come from. Let's just say that angels are among us. Diana and I shed a lot of grateful tears this month.

I know that I haven't mentioned Diana or Jordan very much yet, but they are very much alike in that they like to stay busy and work themselves to death. Diana has worked her rear end off this year holding down two jobs, serving as a Cub Den Leader, attending school functions, working on her food storage projects, keeping the wolves at bay, and still finding time to be a great wife and mother. She is an amazing woman and she doesn't give much thought about herself. She deserves a great new year! Jordan is 18 and is pretty independent. He works a lot of hours, attends school, helps with the boys, and doesn't give us any trouble. Like I said, he is a wonderful young man and he will probably be out on his own as soon as he can. He likes to be his own person. We do have a special family and that is what has kept us going this year. The boys are pretty humble and know that we struggle. They only ask for what they need and do without alot. They deserve a great new year as well.

Even when the walls come tumbling down I feel blessed to have the family that I do. The Lord has blessed us and will continue to do so. I wish you all a Happy and Blessed New Year.